German packaging giant Uhlmann to invest 5 million euros to expand its footprint in India

Laxmi Yadav, MumbaiThursday, May 26, 2016, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Buoyed by the exponential growth of Indian pharma industries, Germany based Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG, one of the world’s leading suppliers of packaging machinery and comprehensive services for pharmaceutical products in blisters and bottles, has announced to invest 5 million euros to expand its footprint in India. The fund will be utilised for enhancing sales and service centres, setting up assembling and manufacturing facilities, research and development and manpower training in the country.

Established in 1948, Uhlmann having 3 billion annual turnover has recently started its wholly owned sales and service company in the country, Uhlmann India Pvt Ltd, to cater to the needs of Indian customers and secure new orders. Headquartered in Pune, Uhlmann's India operations have three facilities in the country including a sales office in Mumbai which complements their Pune facility providing assistance on the project planning of new machines, the supply of tools and spare parts/support services.

With an aim to achieve 20 per cent share of Indian pharma packaging machine market, the company is considering plan to expand its presence over 17-18 locations across the country including Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. Uhlmann pledged to invest 5 million euros for Make In India under the Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) initiative, an investment facilitation programme being executed by the Indian Embassy in Berlin with the help of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Investment and Technology Promotion (ITP), Division of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The investment will result in expansion of Ulmann's presence in India. The packaging giant having 30 per cent market share in Europe will spend the fund in India on setting up of sales and service centres and manufacturing facilities and implementing research and training initiatives, said Holger Hochdorfer, India project director.

Indian generics account for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume. With the patent on several blockbuster drugs about to expire, Indian pharma companies are at the cusp of exponential growth. The Indian pharmaceutical market size is expected to grow to US$ 100 billion by 2025, driven by increasing consumer spending, rapid urbanisation, and raising healthcare insurance among others. In a bid to cash in on the growth of India pharma sector and government's Make in India initiative aiming to expedite project execution by eliminating several clearances, we have embarked on a plan to enhance our footprint in India without jeopardizing quality and safety of our products, said Siegfried Drost, managing director of Uhlmann.

We have a number of customers in India like Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy, Cadila and Dr Reddy's Labs. With the setting up of sales and service centres in Pune and Mumbai, our Indian customers will now avail benefits like shorter turnaround time, cost and process efficiencies along with our track and trace technology, he said.

Nowadays pharma companies need reliable and quality packaging machines and solutions at low cost. Backed by technological expertise and cheap human resource, Uhlmann India is better placed to serve the clients' need, he added.

We have plans to redesign German packaging machines as per Indian clients' requirement resulting in significant decline in production cost. Our manufacturing facilities are likely to start in India by 2019, he concluded.